Here in Alberta, we have been so consumed with oil prices, job losses and our less fortunate economy that we tend to forget about what’s going on in other parts of the world. I’m just as guilty of focusing on what’s going on around me and on the price per gallon of oil… $43US/barrel right now… and not realizing that we aren’t the only ones affected by the drop in oil prices.
I had an interesting conversation with my cab driver the other day as I was headed to the airport. Francis, was a very nice man who is from Nigeria. He’s been in Calgary for a number of years with his wife, and his three daughters live in Vancouver. He likes it here in Calgary and visits Vancouver monthly to visit his daughters and grandchildren.
He was talking about finding a place in Nigeria for him and his wife, where they still have many friends and relatives, and would like to spend half the year there and the other half in Calgary. Although, I can’t really help him with that move, I was still interested in his plans.
He says Nigeria is a beautiful country that is very green and lush, and about the size of Alberta. The people there are very friendly, I suppose much the same as how I found that Francis was.
Lately though, with the drop in oil prices, it hasn’t been a good place to live. Nigeria is very dependant on oil, since that’s their main resource for the country. Nigeria is very vulnerable to fluctuations in international prices and demand for oil and gas, which accounts for more than 90 per cent of export earnings and the greater part of federal revenue. Find out more about Nigeria’s economy.
In Alberta, even though many think this is our only resource, we have other industries that also thrive enabling us to have a more stable economy.
Nigeria is also a commonwealth country, just as Canada is and has recently gone through a change in government. When the Nigerian politicians change hands it’s much different from what we saw when Harper handed over the reigns to Trudeau.
In Nigeria the outgoing government makes the new government’s job very difficult… sort of punishing them for taking over the country from them. As one government leaves they take all the money with them. This may be a good strategy for the politicians but what about the people? Since the new government doesn’t have any money to provide for its citizens it’s really the people who suffer from this childish behaviour.
Francis said that if a man and woman have a family where the children can get work as well, then they can get through this tough time. If they don’t have children then it’s incredibly challenging to survive. We are so very fortunate here in Calgary to have the support from the government, on all levels. Frankly, we don’t even come close (and probably never will) to the unfortunate predicament that the Nigerians can go through.
Before dropping me off at the airport, Francis did say he loves Calgary and is so very fortunate to live here. I wished him the best in his plans and off he went to take his next customer to their destination.